There is something about rocks from outer space that trigger our imagination. Just the thought that you can hold an object from the galaxy in your hand and know that it is millions, if not billions, of years old is humbling. What makes these strange objects even more fascinating is the knowledge that they have been floating around space before entering the Earth’s atmosphere and surviving the 3000 degrees Fahrenheit (about 1649 degrees Celsius) heat to make it to us. They are also quite rare, making them highly-desirable collectables for space enthusiasts. So imagine having a watch with a little piece of space inside? This is a question many watchmakers have asked themselves.
This month Omega released its latest Speedmaster Moonwatch 321 Platinum in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, which saw an Omega Speedmaster Professional go up into space on the wrist of Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin. This anniversary watch incorporates real pieces of moon meteorite into the subdials of its chronograph against a black onyx dial. Just the idea of owning a little piece of the moon and being able to wear it on the wrist is just mind-blowing in our opinion. The watch comes in a 42mm platinum case (actually it is a special alloy that incorporates platinum and gold) and is powered by the brand’s new 321 movement. There is also a special anniversary edition in gold, called the Speedmaster Professional Apollo XI Moonshine gold, which has moon meteorite on the case back.
Price: CHF 55’000
Louis Moinet was one of the first contemporary brands to start incorporating different types of meteorite into the fabrication of its timepieces and they always sell out fast. The timepiece pictured here is the Qatar Tourbillon, featuring two fragments of the one and only meteorite ever found in Qatar. The meteorite is finely inlaid into a hand-engraved dial, depicting two bent swords and sand dunes that pay tribute to the country. The official name of the meteorite is the Qatar 001 and it is believed to come from the asteroid belt situated between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. It traveled more than 260 million kilometers before landing in the area of Jariyan al Batnah.
Price: CHF 120’000 in titanium and CHF 130’000 in pink gold
The Hermès Arceau L’Heure de la Lune contains a double moon complication. The mother-of-pearl moons are stationary and the lacquer dials cover the moon to indicate the current moon phase. There are two different iterations of the watch, one with a graduated grey lacquered disc and a meteorite dial, and the other with white lacquered discs and an aventurine dial. Both come in a 38mm case and are powered by the Hermès caliber H1837 with a module called the “L’Heure De La Lune”, which was specially designed for this watch.
Price: Euros 23’000
The Tonda 1950 Meteorite comes in three different versions, each of which has a dial cut from a meteorite stone. The meteorites are extremely difficult to cut and each one is completely different from the next due to the different structure of the stone inside. After being cut, they are polished before being chemically treated to bring out the geometric patterns that form when the metal slowly cools down. The watches come in titanium cases and feature the brand’s PF 702 proprietary automatic caliber.
Jaquet Droz’s Grande Seconde Circled Météorite marries both meteorite and white mother-of-pearl on its dial to great effect. The watch features off-centered hours and minutes and has a big second indication at six o’clock. The timepiece comes in a choice of a 43mm or 39mm red gold case with matching gold rings around the subdials. The watch contains the Jaquet Droz 2663 automatic movement that has a double barrel.
Price: CHF 24’300 for the rose gold version and CHF 41’950 for the diamond version
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar Meteorite uses a piece of meteorite for the whole dial of this master calendar timepiece. Meteorites are fragments of asteroids that have fallen to Earth and this particular piece is estimated to be over four billion years old. It is thought to have come from a belt of asteroids situated between Mars and Jupiter before arriving on Earth around 800,000 years ago. The meteorite has a textured look and strangely gives this rather classic timepiece, a contemporary edge. The watch comes in a 39mm steel or rose gold case and is powered by the brand’s 865 automatic movement. The meteorite on the steel version is light gray, while the meteorite on the rose gold version is in a darker gray.
Price: $12’600 in stainless steel and $24’500 in pink gold
Housed in a 40mm rose gold case, the Altiplano Meteorite features a stunning gray meteorite dial. This fragment is known as Widmanstätten after the name of the Austrian scientist who discovered it in the 19th century. The stripes come from a high content of iron and nickel which would have been heated to thousands of degrees as it entered the Earth’s atmosphere. Each dial is completely unique and requires extreme skill to cut. The collection is limited to 300 pieces. The watch is powered by the automatic caliber 1203P with a power reserve of 44 hours.
Price: On request
This 40mm white gold GMT-Master II Meteorite timepiece on an Oyster bracelet comes with a red and blue Cerachrom bezel and a striking light-gray meteorite dial. It includes the Rolex automatic Caliber 3285, which indicates the hours, minutes, seconds, date and GMT.
Price: CHF 36’300
This special edition Admiral’s Cup Legend 42 Meteorite Dual Time is limited to 75 pieces and comes with a silvery meteorite dial. Housed in a 42mm red gold case, red gold hands and indexes complement the dial perfectly. The watch indicates the hours, minutes, seconds, date and second time zone thanks to its automatic movement. The dial is crafted from the Gibeon meteorite which is around four billion years old.
Price: On request
The Rotonde de Cartier Earth Moon in rose gold includes a meteorite disc for the off-centered dial at 12 o’clock with an attractive openwork that sees the numerals carved out of white gold. There is also a 24-hour ring around the outside of the sub dial which is handy for reading the time in different timezones. The most magical part of this timepiece is that when you activate the pusher at four o’clock, you reveal a second meteorite dial that covers the tourbillon and indicates the current phase of the moon.
The meteorite in Romain Gautier’s Prestige HMS Stainless Steel timepiece is crafted from a rare piece of Henbury meteorite that comes from Northern Australia. This light-gray meteorite with its geometric pattern has been given center stage thanks to very subtle markings on the dial itself. The watch comes in a 43mm sized case and is powered by a manual-winding in-house movement with a 60-hour power reserve and is limited to 10 pieces.